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Showing posts from 2018

Experiencing PT KA's Priority Train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta

The region of Yogyakarta is the jump-off to popular attractions, Borobudur and Prambanan temples. One of the most convenient though lengthy way to get there is by taking the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. The  8-hour journey maybe long but once you get to the countryside, you can enjoy an enlivening scenery of vast farmlands and mountains. 

Related Post : Visiting the Borobudur Temple Compounds

The PT Kereta Api Wisata's (KA) Priority train are private carriages attached towards the back of the train. It's open to tour groups who reserve the entire cart and is similar to the one taken by the president and his staff  when traveling to other provinces.

From Hotel Aryaduta, where we spent the night,  we headed to Gambir station, one of the major stations in Central Jakarta. Since the hotel's only 1.1 KM away, we got to the station  quite early for the 8:30 AM trip.  While waiting for the train, we stayed at the VIP lounge where there's free flowing coffee and water.
Though…

Hiking at Masungi Georeserve's Legacy Trail

I've been busy adjusting to a new job that I'm unable to hike as frequently as before (I used to hike 1-2 times a month), so I was really happy when my friend Celine invited me, to visit a new trail in Rizal. We were also joined by two other friends, Kara and Ferdz, giving us a chance to catch up! :) 

Our group was led by Ann Dumanglas, an inspiring, young lady (I feel old saying that, haha!) and one of the family members behind Masungi Georeserve. Opened in June, the Legacy Trail offers a moderately challenging approach to enjoying the mountain scenery of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Easy to  reach from Manila, it makes a convenient escape from the city. Commuting from Cubao only took 1.5 hours on an early Saturday morning. 
The hike starts at KM 46 of Marcos Highway, just a few minutes from the Masungi Georeserve gate at KM 47. From here, it's a  sweaty stair climb up! 

Though I prefer walking on natural trails as it's less stressful to the knees, having an establis…

Got 24 Hours in Angeles City? Here’s Your Itinerary for an Amazing Time

With a population of 400,000 people and rising as of 2015, Angeles City certainly qualifies as a large urban city. Compared with the huge metros of the Philippines like Quezon City and Manila, this jewel of the Central Luzon region looks downright quaint. Amid Angeles City’s diverse history and modern urbanization, you’ll find a blend of hard working, friendly citizens and rich culture. Here, enchanting history, delicious food, beautiful hotels and exciting nightlife await behind every turn.

Let’s pretend you have 24 hours to spend in Angeles City, which is plenty of time to absorb many of the local greatest hits. What exactly do you do? Let’s take a leisurely stroll and see what this city has to offer.
Historic and Cultural Sites and Outdoor Parks Museo Ning Angeles If you’re looking for a taste of local history, this small museum with its knowledgeable staff members features dioramas and exhibits showing the rich history of the area and culture of Angeleños. Nestled in the Sto. Rosario …

Mt. Mamara (Tanay, Rizal)

With numerous mountain trails offering dramatic views, the province of Rizal is a  convenient option for Manila-based hikers looking for a one day adventure. Hikers can decide on a whim and plan a hike in minutes just by doing a quick Google search, just like we did.  Joined by blogger friends, Ferdz (Ironwulf.net) and Marky (Nomadic Experiences), I returned to  Brgy. Daraitan, in the municipality of Tanay to visit a smaller peak, Mt. Mamara. Sharing the same starting point as Mt. Daraitan, the more popular peak, it was opened as an alternate hiking destination when Mt. Daraitan reaches its maximum visitors of 300/day. 
While Mt. Mamara has a shorter trail than Mt. Daraitan and considerably much easier, taking less than two hours to reach its peak, the views are just as rewarding. A free standing mountain in the middle of a beautiful landscape, it serves as an excellent vantage point for Tinipak river and the mountains around it.  It was already late in the morning when we reached the ju…

Mt. Banahaw De Tayabas

By the time I had finished work, I only had an hour left to rest, shower and finish packing. Such is hiking life these days as I returned to corporate world after a 7 month break. Always rushing, often lacking sleep for an early hike the next day. It's tiring but I'm very thankful for the energy and wonderful hiking companions. :) The travel from Manila to the jump-off  in Tayabas was quite fast, around 4 hours with a hired van, passing Sariaya. That didn't really give us enough time to catch on sleep but the hearty pre-hike breakfast at Pat's home was energizing, giving us a happy boost before the challenge.
Before starting our hike, we had a briefing at Barangay Lalo where we were introduced to our guides and porters. By 10:14 AM, we started to make our way to the trailhead. The spotless sky, accompanied by the raging summer heat made us sweat instantly. Fortunately, the trail from start to camp 2 (1,400 MASL) was moderately challenging with plenty of flat sections. 
As…

Canada | Rattray Marsh Trail

It was December when I arrived in Ontario. An unfamiliar coldness, one that shot straight to the bones, overwhelmed me as I got out of the plane. I took it as Canada's comical way of welcoming me, a first time visitor from the tropics.  Related Post : 4 hour layover in Taipei

I knew it was going to be challenging to be outdoors during this season, but the abundance of hiking trails around the city made it irresistible to squeeze in some quick hikes. 

Rattray Marsh, in the city of Mississauga (pronounced as Missy-sah-guh),  is one of the many trails that can still be accessed during winter. Located inside an enormous conservation area (94 hectares huge!) managed by Credit Valley Conservation Foundation, it is home to hundreds of plant and bird species, as well as mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. 
We left the car at Jack Darling Memorial Park. From here, we walked towards Waterfront Trail, a concrete pathway with a nice view of Lake Ontario and continued until we got to the trail…

Walking Around El Nido Town (Plus travel info!)

After finishing a strong cup of iced Americano and a juicy BLT from The Cavern, I felt a strong surge of energy that I had to walk it off. The town proper is about 2KM from where I was and easy to reach via the Taytay-El Nido road. 





The  road leading to El Nido  town is a narrow, two-lane street.  There's plenty of tricycles, vehicle smoke and though it's not ideal for walking,you can see limestone rock formations, a common sight in this little town. 

Despite the inconveniences, I focused on the scenery. It's not everyday I see mountains and huge rock formations just along my walking route. I took advantage and enjoyed the serenity that only nature can provide. 

Corong-Corong bay is not along the road but there are restaurants and resorts I passed by that have access to the beach. In the afternoon, the water is filled with so many parked boats. Making up for the cluttered landscape is the view of surrounding islets and islands. 
Close to where I stayed (Overcomer Lodge), just …

Canada | Manila to Taoyuan International Airport Layover

The first leg of my long journey to Ontario began with a layover from Manila to Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei. I had such good experience flying with EVA Air (mainly because they served good food) that I was still full and high with energy when I arrived. After doing some research, I realized the 4.40 hr layover wasn't enough for me to get out of the airport and do some decent exploring. Fortunately, Taoyuan International Airport is wonderful. Easy to navigate, it has plenty of facilities to entertain travelers with long layovers. There's free wifi too in the entire airport, making it easier to pass the time.  When I reached Taipei, I didn't have to go through immigration or pick up my luggage. I thought I'd be bored with all the free time I had but I got so engrossed looking around and trying out things that I ended up having to rush to my boarding gate for my next flight! 

The waiting areas are themed and one of famous ones is the Hello Kitty waiting lounge. …